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The first series contains examples of:
- Growing the Beard: Louise Simonson taking over writing duties led to a more complex narrative, as well as the introduction of one of the franchise's most notable villains.
- Mis-blamed: There was no Pandering to the Base to bring Jean back. Nor was it Executive Meddling. It was simply that they finally figured out a way she could return without having killed five billion people. In fact it was executive meddling that kept her from returning until they found a way (Madelyne Pryor was even supposed to be Jean reincarnated until that was nixed).
- My Real Daddy: While Bob Layton started the series, it was Louise Simonson who really shaped it and introduced Apocalypse. She even did a mini-series, X-Factor Forever, to show what it would have been like had the entire premise of the title not changed.
- Never Live It Down: Cyclops leaving his wife Madelyne and their son to be on the team with the returned Jean Grey proved controversial, and wasn't easily forgotten. Chris Claremont went as far as to say that it destroyed Scott's character, and to this day he is often considered to be a jerkass. The later retcon, where Madelyne is revealed to be a clone of Jean and turns evil, didn't really help that much, because it was such an obvious attempt to do an Author's Saving Throw and salvage Cyclops as a character.
- Pandering to the Base: Bringing Jean back wasn't this, but the actual book itself was. Remember, the big selling point for the original X-Factor series was that it was reuniting the original five X-Men for the first time in years. You can bet that the base ate that up.
- Unfortunate Implications: Originally, the team posed as non-powered mutant hunters. They would capture a given "out of control" mutant, teach him or her how to control their powers, and secretly return them to society with no one the wiser. This approach would be criticized, as mutants were being told to hide who they were (something considered an affront to Xavier's dream). As the series went on, this was actually acknowledged—not only causing anti-mutant problems in general, but also being used for the storyline revealing Hodge as an anti-mutant bigot and villain.
The second series contains examples of:
- My Real Daddy: Peter David is the man behind both the second and third series, and the title's name is now always linked to him.
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Madrox, who annoyed writers and artists alike for starting life as a visually boring and bland character whose superpower was to create visually boring copies of himself. It took Peter David's addition of creatively using his powers, a sense of humor and a philosophical side for the character to take off, and even after that, most writers still don't know what to do with him.
X-Factor Noir (2000s)
The third series contains examples of:
- Die for Our Ship: Some fans of Rictor/Shatterstar REALLY hate Rahne, especially after she tells Rictor he's the father of her baby. Well, she never explicitly stated he was the father, he just assumed when she gave a Suspiciously Specific Denial in response to the question. Mind you, she encouraged that assumption because she had religious problems with his relationship with Shatterstar and was trying to Cure Your Gays.
- Ensemble Darkhorse:
- Shatterstar has been the subject of extensive online debate, beaten up The Thing, kissed almost as many people as the rest of the cast put together, been featured prominently in nine different covers, made himself a very likely candidate for a limited series, and just generally stolen the spotlight both in-universe and out; all this in, what, ten issues or so? Not bad for a character who the writer refused to allow anywhere near the book for quite some time.
- Ruby Summers is pretty popular, with some fans hoping that he is brought into the mainstream universe.
- John Maddox, for not only his great introductory story arc, but also for being such a Nice"Guy while still retaining Jamie's snark.
- My Real Daddy: Layla Miller was introduced in House of M by Brian Michael Bendis as a living Deus ex Machina, but her more well-known "I'm Layla Miller. I know stuff."-persona and subsequent Character Development was the work of Peter David here.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- Jamie Madrox absorbing his own son.
- Also the mutant internment camps of the future.
- The birth of Rahne's son. Just... Rahne's son.
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
- Replacement Scrappy: Polaris got a lot of this during the end of the series due to the fact that another team member Siryn was Put on a Bus to Hell for helping her. This got even worse when she became team leader for the follow up series. This is probably because she and Havok are written as Satellite Character to interact with the rest of the team and rarely have any ongoing storyline or character development during their time in the first series.
- Ron the Death Eater: Rahne seems to be the most common target of this. She's either a kind-hearted woman with some very serious emotional issues, or an evil manipulative she-bitch out to ruin everything.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The romantic relationship between Rictor and Shatterstar. Despite received immense popularity and critical praise, PAD simply decided to stop develop their relationship (more specifically developing Shatterstar as a character and how he deals with his new-found sexuality) and reduced it to a Running Gag (which many LGBT fans considered insulting). It is painfully notable on any issues that they appeared on-panel together as it clearly shows that the two of them have immense chemistry and interesting dynamic compare to any other romantic couples in the series.
All-New X-Factor (2014)
The fourth series contains examples of
- Tough Act to Follow: Most people agree that this series just isn't as good the the Noir era, despite (or perhaps because of) its more popular cast. Probably because PAD's writing of Polaris and Gambit just isn't as interesting as his interpretation of Multiple Man and Shatterstar (though his writing of Quicksilver was highly praised even by people who didn't like the series). Not help that Polaris is considered a Replacement Scrappy to Siryn who was Put on a Bus to Hell because of her.